Full fix: Critical_process_died csrss.exe on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • That being out of the way, we are not going to say that BSoDs are a blessing. Critical_process_died error is a real pain - follow the steps below to have it fixed.
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fix csrss.exe on Windows 10

Computer errors are a common occurrence, and while certain errors are relatively harmless, others can cause you a lot of problems.

Critical_process_died csrss.exe is a Blue Screen of Death error, and since this error will crash your system every time it appears it’s important to know how to fix it on Windows 10.

How can I fix Critical_process_died csrss.exe error?

Critical_process_died csrss.exe error can be problematic, and speaking of this error, here are some similar issues reported by the users:

  • Critical_process_died Windows 10 won’t boot, won’t boot in Safe Mode – If your system can’t boot due to this problem, it’s possible that there’s an issue with your hardware. But before you replace your hardware, you might want to try reinstalling your system.
  • Critical_process_died 0x000000ef – Sometimes this error can be followed by an error code. However, you should be able to fix the problem using one of our solutions.
  • Critical_process_died ntoskrnl.exe – Sometimes you might get an error message saying which file caused the problem. If that’s the case, simply do a bit of research and remove the application associated with that file.
  • Critical process died overclock, overheat – Overclocking and overheating can also cause this problem, and in order to fix it, be sure to remove all overclock settings.
  • Critical process died Avast, Kaspersky – Your antivirus can also cause this issue to occur, and to fix the problem, you’ll need to remove or disable your antivirus.

1. Check your antivirus

Critical_process_died 0x000000ef

Another cause for Critical_process_died csrss.exe error can be your antivirus software. Your antivirus can sometimes interfere with your system and that can cause issues such as this one to appear.

To fix the problem, it’s advised to disable your antivirus and check if that helps. Alternatively, you might have to remove your antivirus software entirely in order to fix this issue.

Many users reported that McAfee caused this issue, so if you’re using it, be sure to remove it.

If removing the antivirus solves the problem, this might be a good time to consider switching to a different antivirus solution.

There are many great antivirus tools on the market, and if you want maximum protection that won’t interfere with your system, we suggest you try Bitdefender.


2. Install the latest updates and drivers

The simplest way to fix critical_process_died csrss.exe and other Blue Screen of Death errors is to download and install the latest updates through Windows Update.

Many of these updates fix both hardware and software issues, therefore it’s recommended that you install them.

Windows 10 usually downloads the missing updates automatically, but you can always check for updates manually on your own. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to Update & Security section.
    Critical_process_died ntoskrnl.exe
  3. Click Check for updates button.
    Critical_process_died Windows 10 won't boot

Windows will now download the missing updates and install them as soon as you restart your PC.

In addition to the latest updates, it’s also recommended to install the latest drivers. Outdated drivers are the common cause for these errors, therefore be sure that you update them.

With little research, you can find which driver is causing this error and update it, but if you can’t find the problematic driver we advise you to update all your drivers.

To do that simply visit your hardware manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your hardware.

We also recommend this third-party tool (100% safe and tested by us) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.


3. Uninstall the problematic software/driver

Sometimes critical_process_died csrss.exe error can be caused by certain software or a driver that you have installed.

To fix this issue, users are suggesting to find and remove the problematic software from your PC. Your antivirus is the common cause for these types of errors, therefore be sure to remove it and check if that fixes the error.

In addition to software, certain drivers can cause this issue to appear. Users reported that Intel Rapid Storage Technology is the common cause for this error, therefore be sure to remove it. To remove a certain driver do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Power User Menu and select Device Manager from the list.
    Critical process died overclock
  2. When Device Manager starts, locate the driver that you want to remove, right click it and choose Uninstall.
    Critical process died overheat
  3. If available check Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
    Critical process died Kaspersky
  4. After you delete the driver restart your PC.

Bumped into a blue screen after Windows 10 rollback? Check out this guide and fix it in no time.


4. Turn off the Sleep mode

Few users reported that they fixed the critical_process_died csrss.exe error by disabling the Sleep mode. To do that follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter power settings. Choose Power & sleep settings from the list of results.
    Critical process died Avast
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to Additional power settings in Related settings category.
    Critical_process_died Windows 10 won't boot in Safe Mode
  3. List of available power plans will appear. Locate your current power plan and click Change plan settings next to it.
    Critical_process_died 0x000000ef
  4. Click Change advanced power settings.
    Critical_process_died ntoskrnl.exe
  5. Go to the Sleep section and disable all the options.
    Critical_process_died Windows 10 won't boot
  6. After you’re done click Apply and OK to save changes.

5. Update your BIOS

Your BIOS is in charge of most of your hardware components, and if your BIOS is outdated you might get critical_process_died csrss.exe error. To fix this error users are suggesting to update your BIOS.

To update BIOS you need to visit your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the latest version of BIOS.

We have to mention that BIOS update is somewhat an advanced and dangerous procedure, therefore use extra caution if you want to avoid causing permanent damage to your PC.

For detailed instructions on how to update your BIOS, be sure to check your motherboard manual.


6. Remove SATA adapter cradle for your SSD

Some users tend to use SATA adapter cradle for their SSD, but few users reported that SATA adapter cradle can cause this error to appear.

According to users, after removing the SATA adapter cradle and connecting the SSD directly to the motherboard the issue was completely resolved.


More solutions are waiting for you on the second page. Make sure to check them out.

FAQ: Learn more about Critical Process Died and Blue Screen errors

  • What causes critical process death?

The Critical Process Died message is triggered when a critical Windows component detects that data associated with the process which was needed to run the system has been corrupted.

  • How do you fix critical process died?

Running a scan with the Hardware Troubleshooter might be a good start. As an alternative, you can run an SFC scan and update the corrupted drivers.

  • Does blue screen damage computer?

Also known as a stop code error, it is displayed when your system detects a problematic state, and thus, it stops all activity in an attempt to protect your data.

7. Remove problematic applications

In some cases, third-party applications can cause this issue to appear, so you’ll have to remove them.

If this problem started appearing recently, it’s rather likely that a third-party application caused it, so it’s advised to remove any recently installed applications and check if that helps.

Many applications tend to leave leftover files after you remove them, so it might be best that you use uninstaller software such as Revo Uninstaller to completely remove the problematic application.

If you’re not familiar, uninstaller software will completely remove the selected application, along with all of its files and registry entries ensuring that the application doesn’t interfere with your system anymore.


8. Perform a System Restore

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem by performing System Restore. To do that just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and type system restore. Select Create a restore point from the list of results.
    Critical_process_died 0x000000ef
  2. System Properties window will open. Click System Restore button.
    Critical_process_died ntoskrnl.exe
  3. When System Restore window opens, click Next.
    Critical process died overclock
  4. If available, check Show more restore points option. Select the restore point you want to revert back to and click Next.
    Critical_process_died Windows 10 won't boot
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the restoration process.

After the restoration process is finished, check if the problem is still there.


9. Reinstall Windows 10 and check your hardware

According to users, sometimes in order to fix this problem you need to reset your PC to the default. This process is similar to clean install, so before you perform it, be sure to back up all important files from your system drive.

To perform a reset, you might have to create an installation media, so be sure to do so using Media Creation Tool software. After doing that, follow these steps to perform a reset:

  1. Open the Start Menu, click the Power button, press and hold the Shift key and choose Restart.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.
  3. If you’re asked to insert Windows 10 installation media, be sure to do so.
  4. Select Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files.
  5. You’ll now see a list of changes that will be performed to your system. Click the Reset button to start.
  6. Follow the instructions to complete the reset.

Once the process is finished, your system will be reinstalled and the problem should be fixed.

In case the problem appears after you reset your PC, it’s rather likely that a hardware component is causing this issue.

The most common causes are your RAM and graphics card, so be sure to check them first. If your hardware is the problem, you’ll have to perform a detailed hardware inspection to pinpoint the problem.


Critical_process_died csrss.exe error can cause many problems, but in most cases, you can fix this error by removing the problematic software or by updating your BIOS.

If these solutions don’t work, feel free to try any other fix from this article.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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